POLICE are investigating a potentially-lethal incident in which a thick piece of string was stretched across a road at neck height.

Road safety campaigners say the string, tied to two lampposts on either side of the street, could easily have killed a cyclist or motorcyclist.

It was placed across Water Lane in Totton at night, making it difficult to see.

Totton councillor Chris Lagdon said: “The morons responsible must be tracked down by the police and made to face the full force of the law.

“As a motorcycle rider myself I know how dangerous something like that can be. It was an atrocious thing to do and I’m absolutely disgusted that an incident of this sort has occurred in Totton.”

Mog Morrison, head of the New Forest Motor Cycle Action Group, said that similar cases in other parts of the UK had proved fatal.

She added: “If this was some sort of prank involving youngsters I hope the police or their parents take them to one side and educate them about the potential consequences of their actions. A cyclist or motorcyclist could have lost control and ended up on the ground.

“Depending on the tension of the string and the speed at which they were travelling, they could have suffered a very serious injury – a broken neck at least. This sort of thing has killed people in the past.”

The incident occurred near Water Lane’s junction with Bagber Road.

Totton trader Steve Shepherd, who lives nearby, said: “Whoever was responsible for the latest incident doesn’t have the brain cells to realise what could have happened. Someone hitting it could have been killed. It’s madness, simple as that.”

A police spokesman said a woman found the string stretched across the road last Thursday between 9pm and 10pm. He added: “It was at neck or chest height and could have been dangerous for a cyclist or motorcyclist.

“It could have caused serious injury.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) was “horrified” to learn of the incident.

In August a young girl was left with neck injuries after cycling into wire deliberately tied across a park path.

The six-year-old was out on her bike with her grandparents when she rode straight into the cable, which had been strung up deliberately at Wheatlands Park, in Titchfield Common.

Earlier this year a Merseyside woman cycled into a rope that had been stretched across a walkway.

Teaching assistant Siobhan Delamare, 23, was rushed to hospital after she was caught in the throat and fell off her bike, striking her head on the road. She suffered vomiting and severe headaches but later recovered.

Call PC Steve Norris at Totton police station on 101 with any information.